Yahweh, who will sojourn in Your tent, who will dwell on Your holy mountain? Psalm 15:1
The Psalmist is searching for answers to important questions: what is the meaning and purpose of life? What does a God-centered life look like, feel like, smell like? And what does it mean to worship God? That is the question above. To journey with God in a tent is a reference to Moses and the People of God wandering in the wilderness for forty years. During that time Moses held a capital campaign and people made offerings to make a tent or tabernacle for holding the 10 Commandments. Later on Solomon constructed a temple in Jerusalem on a hill. Isaiah would eventually envision people from all places streaming to the holy mountain of God.
Often the Psalmist will ask a question and then in the following verses provide answers. Some suggest this might have even been used in the Temple liturgy with the Priest asking the question and the people of God responding with the words/answers found in the psalms. In Psalm 15, you would assume would follow might be a list that we often come up with for being a "good Christian": go to church, give money, help a person with a cane across the street, and generally be a good person. But that is not what Psalm 15 verse 2 says. It start off as we might expect, that we should walk blameless. Easily said, hard to do. But, okay, nothing unexpected there. So, we'd think the next thing should be about giving money. But the second answer to the question of verse 1 is, "do justice and speaks the truth in his heart." Okay...that is unexpected. As the previous post explored, the Psalmist was concerned to with with the least and lowly and left behind. That worship in the temple was not enough if our lives do not reflect the hymns we sing and the Scripture we hear.
Of course, "doing justice" means different things to different people. For some it means volunteering. For others serving at a soup kitchen. For others it means lobbying congress or trying to pass legislation. Which is it? Perhaps the answer is not to limit, but to expand our understanding. Justice can be all the above and much more. Our daily actions can either further God's realm or we can maintain the status quo. But living a life of justice means being prayerful and thoughtful and concern for the other. That goes against the grain of our world where self-interest and self-actualization takes most of our time.
Yet, when we do reach out with love, when we seek to do justice, and when we try our best to share what we have with others, we are doing more than trying to share a trace of God's grace, we are also worshiping the One who seeks to reconcile this world. May it be so for our lives this week.